Mon, 11 Dec, 2023

Felix Felicis Potion, the Liquid Luck

By Prakriti Shree Tuladhar

At times, a thought crosses my mind “luck equals success equals love equals happiness”. I am not sure whether this thought is right or not, but this is something I desperately want to know.

The textbook definition of luck or a definition usually heard of is being at the right place at the right time. It’s what we have read and it’s what we have heard over and over again to the point that if someone asks us what luck is we’d define it the same way. The very definition of luck that we know and that will pass on to others is enticing. So it’s no wonder that luck has been the core of many stories and folklore in all cultures. Felix Felicis is one of the most well known potions for luck as it played a crucial role in a world famous book by one of the most loved writers of the world. The book is Harry Potter (Part 6, The Half Blood Prince to be exact) and the writer is J.K.Rowling. Harry earns a little bit of the potion as a reward in his Potions class and uses it to extract a piece of memory from Professor Slughorn which proves to be a key that ultimately leads to the defeat of He Who Must Not Be Named. But the story that made a big impression on me concerning luck came from an episode of Supernatural. In this episode, Sam and Dean try to save a man who made a deal with Crowley at the infamous crossroads. This man had wished for painting talent. And he got that. He was great at painting. But he was living in a cheap, filthy apartment with his great works of art. He had talent but he never had success. His artwork made him regret for not having wished for luck. Moving on to real life examples, let us compare Oppenheimer and Chris Langan. Both these people have I.Q.s far higher than an average person. The former is a famous physicist and the latter is a genius who never became famous and was brought into light by Gladwell, a Canadian journalist. Oppenheimer was lucky that he was born in a good family and was sent to a school where his talents were recognized and appreciated to a point that he was forgiven even though he poisoned his teacher. Langan was unlucky to have been born in a broken family with a stepfather who taught him with no conversation skills to a point where he couldn’t even show his teacher that he was actually good at mathematics. People might say that the major role here was their conversation skills rather than their luck. But their luck decided who learnt good conversation skills and who did not. Till now being lucky sounds wonderful. And most people when asked would wish for eternal luck above everything else. But if the wish is granted, would we be happy? Imagine that we got the boon of eternal luck. And as expected, everything would always go on our way. All our hopes and dreams would be fulfilled in a heartbeat. We would be successful in life, a person loved by all. Then what next? For some time, we would be madly happy. But would we be able to take credit for our accomplishment? No doubt that we would be a hero, a role model for many. However, I doubt, that l we will be a hero for the person staring back at us from a mirror? Though we may pretend to get past all that, it still won’t be easy to live in a society that holds one common emotion towards us; the feeling of jealousy. In golf, hitting a ball in the hole in a single stroke takes skill and hard work. But with luck, our golf ball will just bounce off a tree at just the right angle and land in the hole. Would it be fair for our opponent? When everything we do comes in our favor, wouldn’t we be cheating people who work hard? This makes us a cheat. We could say that we would use our luck to help people in need, but I doubt the road to helping people should be paved by cheating those who deserve what we snatched from them. People say that the most important part of success is the journey. But lucky us, we have no journey to experience. In fact we barely have any experience of failure and sadness that makes success sweet and happiness even more content. Can we be happy if we do not feel pain, the pain of loss, the pain of failure and the pain of not being in the right place at the right time? So at times, the thought crosses my mind that “luck equals success equals love equals happiness”. I am not sure whether this thought is right or not, but this is something I desperately want to know. P.S. I was inspired for this topic from this week’s Deer Express season.